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Whānau Ora Heads Back To Court As Māori Vaccination Rates Stall

Press Release – Whanau Ora

Whnau Ora Commissiong Agency Chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says vaccination rates for Mori have gone backwards, despite assurances from Ashley Bloomfield that his Ministry can lift the lagging Mori rate. Last week the Director-General of Health …

Whānau Ora Commissiong Agency Chair Merepeka Raukawa-Tait says vaccination rates for Māori have gone backwards, despite assurances from Ashley Bloomfield that his Ministry can lift the lagging Māori rate.

Last week the Director-General of Health blocked the Wellington High Court decision that would have given WOCA access to data for Māori not yet vaccinated.

Bloomfied said WOCA did not have the capacity or capability to find and then vaccinate whānau. The WOCA collective have vaccinated 520,000+ Kiwis to date.

Bloomfield also claimed whānau would feel bullied by a Māori orgainsation engaging in conversations about vaccinations. Handing over that data would breach privacy – even though the MoH gives similar data information to Non-Government third parties without whānau consent.

He further implied allowing WOCA the Māori data was not tikanga based.

On Monday WOCA dispatched a team of four mobile clinics, staffed by 74 trained WOCA kaimahi to support Te Tai Tokerau deal with the low number of Māori vaccinations in Northand.

Days after Bloomfield’s decision, Northland reported more Covid cases in Kaitaia and whānau also being hospitalied.

Raukawa-Tait said wasting more resource on further legal proceedings was not in anyones interests – especially the taxpayers.

“This is a waste of taxpayer money,” Raukawa-Tait said. “Māori need to be vaccinated and Dr Bloomfield’s ill advised decision does not help us achieve that.

“Our team in Northland are up against the odds and racing against time. WOCA, through our 88 North Island providers, work together to get our people vaccinated and keep them safe.”

Legal papers apealing Bloomfield’s order will shortly be filed in the Wellington High Court.

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